Bishop H. M. Turner Reviews “The Divine Logos” Just Published by Prof. H.T. Johnson
Christian Recorder: August 28, 1890
Mr. Editor: As I pass over the history of our church and see where she was fifty years ago in comparison with other great and powerful church organizations, with their own literature produces by their own men, I am induced by my perusal of Prof. Johnson’s book, on “The Divine Logos,” to recognize the answer to my prayers which I made years ago, that God would raise up men in our church who could handle the Scriptures in the light of modern exegesis and orthodox theology. In my declining days, after serving the church in nearly all of its departments, and writing upon many phases of its polity, I desire to say I am at the feet of Prof. Johnson in his book on the “Gospel of St. John.”
It is a masterly production, rich in theology, and profound in philosophy and science. His diction is marked by the keenest English, showing him to be able in the most powerful and eloquent language now extant.
One reading his book cannot fail to see the extensive knowledge which he displays in the Scriptures, in a critical sense, in the meantime making his knowledge conducive in the pale of Christianity and Theistic argument. The different subjects treated in the book have been dealt with to my mind in the light of a modern Origen or an Augustine. Prof. Johnson escapes the error into which so many young ministers fall, that is of making dogma and doctrine the same. He sets forth doctrine as a truth held for its practical value and a dogma held merely for its place in a creed. This distinction has held a place in the history of doctrines and theological science since its early discovery and development. In this book, the Soul, Eternity, Sin, Salvation, Law and Theology are treated; each being assigned to their respective places. The philology of the book in many respects is as good as some of the larger works by more mature minds.
The first subject treated is “The Ideal Logos.” 2. “The Idea Developed.” 3. “The Pre-existence”. 4. “Life.” 5. “Incarnation.” 6. “Works of the Logos Posited.” 7. “Light.” 8. “Truth.” 9. “Love.” 10. “Teacher.” 11. The Glorified Logos.” 12. “The Indewelling Logos.” All of these subjects are treated in the light of pure theology and from both Hebrew and Greek texts. The book meets a long desired place in our church and fills a place in theological literature which is indispensable.
I recommend it to all of our ministers and students of theology, to our public and private libraries. I hope this work will stimulate our ministry, as most of them say they must have scholars to guard the inner and outward life and progress of the church. Some have called for Origen, the scholar of the East, in theology and the father of Exegesis and allegorical interpretation; others as for Basil and Chrysostom, and still others for Ambrose and Augustine.
Exegesis was not gift of that age; its development laid in the age in which literature was to be developed immediately after the dark ages in which the world gained a new sight into truth. Now we have this light in our church by one of our own sons; so appreciate it. It is a book that deals with the Bible doctrine and revelation. It is far in advance of Extreme Pietism, hard dogmatism and Modern Rationalism. This work, although not large proves to a demonstration that Prof. H. T. Johnson ought to be filling a first-class chair in some of our colleges.